Updated QB Power Rankings After NFL Week 6

Matt Stein@MatthewJSteinCorrespondent IIOctober 16, 2012

Updated QB Power Rankings After NFL Week 6

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    Another week of the NFL season is in the books, and that means it is time to roll out the weekly quarterback rankings.

    There was quite a bit of movement in this week's rankings due to injuries, bye weeks and rather outstanding performances from some of the game's elite quarterbacks. In fact, a handful of quarterbacks have really separated themselves from the pack and look far superior through six weeks of the NFL season.

    Take a look at who has risen and who has fallen as we give you the updated quarterback rankings after Week 6.

    *You can see last week's quarterback rankings here.

32. Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs

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    Last Week Ranking: 32

    Week 6 Statistics: N/A (Matt Cassel didn't play this week due to an injury)

    How lucky is Cassel that Brady Quinn is his backup? If any other backup quarterback in the league would have stepped in for Cassel in Week 6, they'd likely be starting for the Kansas City Chiefs right now.

    However, Quinn put together a performance worse than many of Cassel's, and that is quite the accomplishment. Cassel remains the worst starting quarterback in the NFL, and when he finally returns, he'll likely hold on to that spot for a few more weeks.

31. Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Last Week Ranking: 31

    Week 6 Statistics: N/A (The Jacksonville Jaguars had a bye in Week 6)

    Blaine Gabbert holds on to the No. 31 spot for another week.

    The good news is that since he didn't play, he also couldn't put together another terrible performance. See, there is always a bright side to things.

30. Kevin Kolb, Arizona Cardinals

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    Last Week Ranking: 26

    Week 6 Statistics: 14-of-26, 128 yards, one touchdown, one interception, 66 rushing yards

    This was Kevin Kolb's second straight poor performance, and he once again takes a drop in these power rankings.

    After looking like the quarterback the Arizona Cardinals hoped he would be for a few games, it now appears as if he is back to his old ways of worse-than-mediocre football. The bigger news, however, is how the Cardinals have gone from looking like a top-10 team to losing to the Buffalo Bills.

    Is it all Kolb's fault? No, but a great deal of the past two losses fall on his shoulders. If he continues to play at this level, Arizona will be lucky to win another game all season long.

29. Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns

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    Last Week Ranking: 30

    Week 6 Statistics: 17-of-29, 231 yards, two touchdowns, one interception

    I really wish I could move Brandon Weeden up more than one spot this week in the rankings. Few expected the Cleveland Browns to win a game this year, and even less thought it'd come against the Cincinnati Bengals.

    However, Weeden played solid football throughout the game, limited his turnovers and came away with a huge win for the Browns. While there is still plenty of room for improvement in Cleveland, the Browns need to be thrilled with this win.

28. Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans

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    Last Week Ranking: 27

    Week 6 Statistics: N/A (Jake Locker was injured in Week 6)

    Locker takes another tumble down this list because of his second straight week of injury.

    Even with Matt Hasselbeck leading the Tennessee Titans to victory on Thursday, Locker will still start once he is healthy. With that said, he needs to get healthy soon to make a move back up these rankings.

27. Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders

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    Last Week Ranking: 24

    Week 6 Statistics: 23-of-33, 353 yards, one touchdown, one interception, one fumble lost

    For a moment there it appeared as if Carson Palmer was going to get a huge road win against the undefeated Atlanta Falcons and make another move up this list. Unfortunately, he struggled quite a bit in the second half, giving Matt Ryan and Co. just enough time to sneak up and steal the game away.

    The Oakland Raiders continue to look like a team that desperately needs a new direction at quarterback. The problem is that they'll have to wait until next year's draft, which means they'll be dealing with the poor play of Palmer for another 11 games.

26. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills

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    Last Week Ranking: 22

    Week 6 Statistics: 18-of-32, 153 yards, zero touchdowns, zero interceptions

    Yes, the Buffalo Bills beat the Arizona Cardinals, but Ryan Fitzpatrick had little to do with that victory. He continues to struggle with pressure in his face, and while he didn't have any turnovers, he also didn't make any plays to help his team win.

    With each week that passes, the Bills have to feel less and less confident that Fitzpatrick will be their starting quarterback past this season.

25. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets

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    Last Week Ranking: 29

    Week 6 Statistics: 11-of-18, 82 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions

    The New York Jets finally had some type of running game and allowed Mark Sanchez to do what he does best: manage the game.

    When Sanchez is forced to be the focal point of the offense, his throws become more erratic and he is prone to making more mistakes. However, when he isn't forced to make plays and can simply relax and manage the game, he's not that bad of a quarterback.

    Of course, to stay this high in the rankings he'll need Shonn Greene to continue to run for 161 yards and three touchdowns, which is quite unlikely to happen.

24. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles

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    Last Week Ranking: 20

    Week 6 Statistics: 28-of-46, 311 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions, 59 rushing yards

    I think it is finally time to stop thinking of Michael Vick as a great quarterback in the NFL. In fact, it would be more than fair to call Vick nothing more than a decent quarterback right now.

    He continues to struggle with turnovers and putting teams away when he has the opportunity. His recent difficulties, including in Week 6, have to make you think that the Philadelphia Eagles are starting to get a little worried about his play.

    Vick's seat is as hot as it has ever been and another performance like this one from Sunday will likely get him benched.

23. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

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    Last Week Ranking: 28

    Week 6 Statistics: 16-of-27, 293 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions, one fumble lost

    This was about as beautiful of a game as the Seattle Seahawks could have wanted from their rookie quarterback. Not only did Russell Wilson outplay Tom Brady, but he did it when it mattered most.

    Wilson led two fourth-quarter scoring drives to give Seattle the win over the heavily favored New England Patriots. His game-winning touchdown pass to Sidney Rice was a great throw and showed the potential that Wilson has to stretch the field for the Seahawks.

    Wilson has done a great job of playing well when his team needs it most. Now that he is starting to put great statistics with his winning ways, he could make a real move up these power rankings in the coming weeks.

22. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

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    Last Week Ranking: 25

    Week 6 Statistics: 21-of-29, 185 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions

    The rate that Ryan Tannehill continues to improve is almost unbelievable. He continues to impress, and now that he is limiting his turnovers, the sky is the limit for this rookie.

    With each game that passes, Tannehill looks more and more like a steal at the eighth pick of the 2012 NFL draft. This kid is going to be a star in the NFL, and it looks like it'll happen sooner rather than later.

21. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams

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    Last Week Ranking: 21

    Week 6 Statistics: 26-of-39, 315 yards, zero touchdowns, zero interceptions, one rushing touchdown

    Even though Sam Bradford was outplayed by Ryan Tannehill on Sunday, he still ranks a spot higher than the rookie for another week. While Tannehill has been on fire these past few weeks, Bradford has looked better over the entire course of the season.

    What was impressive about this game from Bradford was his massive amount of passing yards even without his top receiver, Danny Amendola. He did a great job finding his other receivers, and that is a good sign for the St. Louis Rams moving forward.

    While Bradford isn't quite playing at the same level he did as a rookie, he is definitely getting closer with each week that passes.

20. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

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    Last Week Ranking: 18

    Week 6 Statistics: 22-of-44, 280 yards, zero touchdowns, two interceptions, one fumble lost

    Now this is they type of performance that you expect from a rookie quarterback early in the season. Simply put, Andrew Luck looked completely overmatched against the New York Jets on Sunday.

    He struggled to find open receivers all game long and too often tried to force throws into windows that weren't open. While I expect Luck to get back to looking like he did in Week 5 against the Green Bay Packers, he definitely deserves to fall a few spots after his performance in Week 6.

19. Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Last Week Ranking: 23

    Week 6 Statistics: 15-of-26, 328 yards, three touchdowns, one interception

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been waiting to see this version of Josh Freeman for a long time. After lighting up the Kansas City Chiefs, Freeman certainly deserves to move up a few spots in these power rankings.

    Freeman had little trouble moving the ball down the field on Sunday, as he averaged over 12 yards per attempt. The best part of Freeman's game was how he was able to continuously find his top two receivers. Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams combined for eight receptions, 179 yards and three touchdowns.

    As long as Freeman can continue to move the ball through the air and find his best playmakers, he should continue to progress slowly up these rankings.

18. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

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    Last Week Ranking: 19

    Week 6 Statistics: N/A (Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers had a bye this week)

    Newton moves up one spot on this list simply because of the poor play of Andrew Luck and Michael Vick. He'll need to prove in Week 7 that he can be something more than mediocre or he'll find himself getting passed by other quarterbacks.

17. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

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    Last Week Ranking: 13

    Week 6 Statistics: 31-of-46, 381 yards, three touchdowns, three interceptions, one fumble lost

    I thought about dropping Andy Dalton further down these rankings for having four turnovers and losing to the Cleveland Browns, but every quarterback has an off game over the course of a season.

    The four turnovers from Dalton against an unimpressive defense in Cleveland is a little worrisome. This was the second straight game that Dalton struggled with turnovers, and while it isn't time for the Cincinnati Bengals to go into panic mode, they'll definitely need Dalton to play better if they want to make a run at the AFC North.

    The Bengals have a tough matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and if Dalton struggles again in that game he'll continue to move down these quarterback rankings.

16. Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings

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    Last Week Ranking: 16

    Week 6 Statistics: 35-of-52, 352 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions, one fumble lost

    It's not that Christian Ponder played awful football on Sunday against the Washington Redskins, it's just that he was overmatched by Washington's defense and Robert Griffin III.

    There were times during Ponder's game when we were able to see just how far he has come since his rookie season. Unfortunately, there were also plenty of other times when he struggled with decision-making and accuracy like he did during his first season.

    Anyone who has seen Ponder play this year can certainly see that he has the potential to be one of the better quarterbacks in the league. He just needs to start playing that way on a more consistent basis.

15. Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers

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    Last Week Ranking: 10

    Week 6 Statistics: 19-of-30, 200 yards, zero touchdowns, three interceptions

    This performance from Alex Smith on Sunday fulfilled the worst fears for the San Francisco 49ers. The truth is that while the 49ers have the potential to be unstoppable, they'll only go as far as their quarterback takes them.

    Unfortunately, Smith took them nowhere against the New York Giants, and the 49ers were absolutely destroyed on their home field. With the NFC West looking deeper and deeper with each week that passes, San Francisco simply can't afford another performance like this from Smith.

14. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

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    Last Week Ranking: 17

    Week 6 Statistics: 22-of-45, 311 yards, one touchdown, one interception, one rushing touchdown

    After being the worst ranked quarterback in the NFC North last week, Matthew Stafford leaps Christian Ponder this week with a big victory on the road over the Philadelphia Eagles. The Detroit Lions desperately needed a win, and Stafford did just enough to provide it for his team.

    Now, there are still areas of major concern for Stafford, including his accuracy, but as long as he is winning games, the Lions have to be thankful. We're still waiting for Stafford to get back to playing at the level he was last year, but with each week that passes that seems less and less likely.

13. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

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    Last Week Ranking: 15

    Week 6 Statistics: 25-of-36, 261 yards, two touchdowns, one interception

    This may seem a little high for Tony Romo, especially after he lost on Sunday, but the Dallas Cowboys' loss shouldn't be placed on Romo's shoulders.

    Not only did Romo drive his team down the field to score a touchdown with under a minute left in the game, he also threw a perfect strike to Dez Bryant on a game-tying two-point conversion. However, Bryant let the ball go right through his hands, and the Cowboys ended up losing by two points.

    There is definitely room for Romo to improve, but he is still playing quality football this year if you take away his five-interception performance from Week 5.

12. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

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    Last Week Ranking: 14

    Week 6 Statistics: 17-of-26, 234 yards, one touchdown, zero interceptions

    Joe Flacco continues to fluctuate between playing great, playing decently and playing absolutely horribly. This week we got the decent version of Flacco, but his team won, which is why he is a little higher than he was last week in the rankings for Week 5.

    With the Baltimore Ravens losing two key defensive players in Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb for the season, they are going to need Flacco to play much better than he did on Sunday to make a deep run in the playoffs this year.

11. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

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    Last Week Ranking: 12

    Week 6 Statistics: 17-of-22, 182 yards, one touchdown, one interception, 138 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns

    With each week that passes, Robert Griffin III continues to impress and play at a high level. He's the clear front-runner for Offensive Rookie of the Year and could even be considered as an MVP candidate.

    He now has 11 total touchdowns to only three turnovers on the season as well as over 1,700 total yards of offense. He's led the Washington Redskins to a 3-3 record and has them in the thick of the NFC East race.

    A few more performances like the one Griffin had in Week 6 and the list of quarterbacks I'd rather have on my team will shrink even more.

10. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans

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    Last Week Ranking: 7

    Week 6 Statistics: 20-of-33, 232 yards, zero touchdowns, two interceptions

    I'm not really sure what happened to Matt Schaub Sunday night, but it sure wasn't pretty.

    Schaub saw more pressure in Week 6 than he had all season combined and it clearly affected his confidence against the Green Bay Packers. He simply could never get things going on offense and made too many poor throws for a truly "elite" quarterback.

    While the Texans still need to be considered one of the best teams in the league despite suffering their first loss, they definitely don't want to see another performance like this from Schaub again.

9. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

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    Last Week Ranking: 9

    Week 6 Statistics: 25-of-41, 242 yards, two touchdowns, four interceptions, two fumble lost

    While Philip Rivers certainly had a difficult game Monday night, he also didn't get much help from his teammates on either side of the ball. For starters, Ryan Mathews only averaged 3.4 yards per carry, and the defense coughed up a 24-point lead in the second half.

    With that said, Rivers' interceptions gave the Denver Broncos a short field to work with (not to mention the pick six), and that is often deadly with a quarterback like Peyton Manning on the opposite sideline. Rivers was clearly frustrated, and few quarterbacks struggle as much as he does when they're frustrated.

    We're going to be a little lenient with Rivers this week, but if he has another terrible performance after his bye in Week 7, he'll see a major drop in his ranking.

8. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Last Week Ranking: 8

    Week 6 Statistics: 24-of-40, 363 yards, one touchdown, one interception

    While Ben Roethlisberger certainly deserves to be dropped a few spots after his mediocre performance on Thursday night, there simply weren't any quarterbacks that played well enough to jump him.

    The Pittsburgh Steelers shouldn't have lost to the Tennessee Titans, and Roethlisberger was a big reason why they weren't able to pull out the victory. He made a handful of poor decisions and couldn't put away the Titans when he had the opportunity.

    For the time being, Roethlisberger is still a top-10 quarterback, but a few more performances like this could certainly drop him out of the top 10.

7. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

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    Last Week Ranking: 11

    Week 6 Statistics: N/A (The Chicago Bears had a bye this week)

    Jay Cutler moves up a few spots this week simply because of the poor play of Matt Schaub and Alex Smith. He's coming off some nice performances before his bye week and if he can pick up where he left off, he could make another move up these rankings.

6. Eli Manning, New York Giants

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    Last Week Ranking: 6

    Week 6 Statistics: 15-of-28, 193 yards, one touchdown, zero interceptions

    Don't let the dominating victory by the New York Giants over the San Francisco 49ers fool you concerning Eli Manning.

    While he played solid and safe football, Ahmad Bradshaw and the Giants' run game was the real reason why New York came away with such a huge victory. Manning needed to be nothing more than a game manager on Sunday, and that was perfectly fine with New York.

    It's unlikely that we'll see another quiet performance like this from Manning, so he'll continue to be a threat as one of the top quarterbacks in the league.

5. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

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    Last Week Ranking: 4

    Week 6 Statistics: N/A (The New Orleans Saints had a bye in Week 6)

    Its unfortunate that Drew Brees had a bye this week and Aaron Rodgers decided to throw for half-a-dozen touchdowns.

    He'll certainly make a case to move up in the top five of these rankings when he gets back on the field in Week 7.

4. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

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    Last Week Ranking: 3

    Week 6 Statistics: 24-of-30, 309 yards, three touchdowns, one interception

    Had Peyton Manning's night finished the way it started, he would have taken quite the plunge in the quarterback rankings this week. However, after struggling in the first half, Manning came back and led the Denver Broncos to 35 straight points in the second half to come away with a huge divisional win.

    Other than his one interception, which wasn't entirely his fault, Manning played nearly perfect Monday night. The fact that he did it against a team he has always struggled against is even more impressive.

    If anyone still had doubts that the older Manning wasn't still one of the best quarterbacks in the league, this performance should have put those doubts to rest. He's back, and the Broncos need to be taken rather seriously moving forward.

3. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

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    Last Week Ranking: 1

    Week 6 Statistics: 24-of-37, 249 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions

    Despite the Atlanta Falcons keeping their undefeated record for another week, Matt Ryan struggled mightily against a terrible Oakland Raiders defense.

    This was the first time all season that Ryan didn't look confident. His throws were errant, as was evident by his 59.4 passer rating.

    The Falcons need to feel lucky that they came away with a win on Sunday, but you can guarantee that another performance like this from Ryan will end their winning streak rather quickly.

2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots

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    Last Week Ranking: 2

    Week 6 Statistics: 36-of-58, 395 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions

    While Tom Brady didn't have the greatest of statistics on Sunday, he gets some credit for going against one of the top secondaries in the league. The Seattle Seahawks have dominated opposing quarterbacks, and Brady at least played decent football against them.

    Plus, whenever you throw the ball 58 times in the game, you're going to throw a few bad passes. Even with a loss to the Seahawks, Brady is still one of the premier quarterbacks in the NFL.

    In fact, it'd take quite a few more losses to drop him much further down than No. 2 in these rankings.

1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

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    Last Week Ranking: 5

    Week 6 Statistics: 24-of-37, 338 yards, six touchdowns, zero interceptions

    How can we not give Aaron Rodgers the top spot after his performance on Sunday night?

    This was the first time all season that Rodgers actually looked like the 2011 version of himself. He was accurate, put the ball where only his receivers could get it and made the Houston Texans' defense look like a high school unit.

    What's crazy is that Rodgers' numbers could have been even better if Jermichael Finley and Randall Cobb wouldn't have dropped so many passes. Rodgers is finally back on top of the power rankings, and now that he is there, I can't see him giving it back anytime soon.